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Happy Fourth of July, Monrovia!

Fireworks at Monrovia's Library Park. Comment: The night started out well. There was a glitch playing the national anthem so the crowd sang it alone. A big improvement.

- Brad Haugaard

VBS At Monrovia's Calvary Road Baptist Church | Dr. Seuss Story Hour

~ Vacation Bible School July 14-18 at Calvary Road Baptist Church. Primary through high school grades. Games, crafts, Bible lessons, snacks and prizes. Church at 319 W Olive. Register here:

~ Dr. Seuss story hour at Friends Cafe (near Myrtle and Lemon), July 24 at 3 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Street Fair Doing Well

The Friday Night Street Fair, under new management, stretches along Myrtle from Chestnut up to Lemon. It seems to be going well, despite the spinoff street fair in Arcadia. Shops, food, pony rides, bounce houses and more. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Council: Fire Tax Increase; Reorganization of City Hall

At its July 7 meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia City Council will, among other things, consider ...

~ Raising the city's Fire Service Impact Fee from 60 cents per square foot to 90 cents per square foot for both commercial and residential buildings. Fire Chief Chris Donovan says that between 2000 and 2014, there has been a 17.5% increase in the annual number of Fire Department calls for service and a 29.6% increase in medical aid calls.

~ A reorganization of various city departments.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Panera Bread

Lunch today at Panera Bread on Huntington. Got an Italian Combo sandwich ($8.29) and a strawberry banana smoothie ($4.29). Everything was very good!
- Brad Haugaard 

Biotech Incubator Opening in Monrovia

A new biotech incubator company called LabLaunch is up and running in Monrovia. Here's a picture:

- Brad Haugaard

Fireworks Tips If You Are Not In Monrovia

Personal fireworks are illegal in Monrovia, but if you are in an area that allows them, the Monrovia Police Department has some Fourth of July safety tips for you:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Brass Knuckles; Car Flips Twice; Grandson Arrested; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 29 – July 1. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 420 service events, resulting in 65 investigations.

Weapons Offense/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
June 30 at 12:54 a.m., officers were dispatched to the 300 block of East Walnut on the report of a male subject causing a disturbance. The subject was banging on the door of a motor home parked at the location. When officers arrived, they contacted the subject, along with three other male subjects at the location. A pat down search for the officer's safety revealed the first male detained was in possession of illegal brass knuckles and a used pipe for smoking methamphetamine. The subject was arrested and taken into custody. The other three subjects were identified and released.

Vehicle Burglary
June 30 at 7:37 a.m., a commercial vehicle parked at a hotel in the 900 block of South Fifth Avenue was broken into by unknown means. A GPS that was in the center console and a mounted DriveCam device was stolen. There was no sign of forced entry to the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
June 30 at 2:34 p.m., a husband and wife were driving in their car, heading north on Magnolia toward Colorado. The husband was driving and suddenly veered into an unoccupied, parked truck. The force of the collision moved the truck approximately 25 feet forward, and the car flipped over twice. Both occupants of the vehicle sustained moderate injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment. There was no sign of alcohol involved.

Bicycle Theft
June 30 at 8:44 p.m., an officer responded to the 100 block of South Ivy regarding a bicycle theft. The owner of the bike said he left it unsecured on the side of his house at 5:00 p.m., and when he returned at 7:30 p.m., it was gone. The side of the house is visible from the street. He described his bike as a BMX Free Agent with a grey frame, black handle bars, a black front wheel and red rear wheel. The investigation is continuing.

Vandalism/Warrant – Suspect Arrested
June 30 at 11:07 p.m., officers responded to an apartment in the 300 block of East Lime Avenue regarding a family disturbance. When they arrived, they spoke with the renter of the apartment. She told them she had allowed her adult grandson, who is homeless, to stay with her for one week, but she now wanted him out of her home. She refused to open the front door for him when he arrived home. He became angry and forced the door open, causing damage to the door frame. When he entered, he saw she had packed all his belongings into a bag. The grandson was found to have outstanding warrants for his arrest; he was arrested and taken into custody.

Drunk in Public – Suspect Arrested
July 1 at 3:23 a.m., a female was reported to be chasing a male south on Shamrock, approaching Huntington. Officers arrived and both were detained to investigate. The subjects were found to be husband and wife, and they had been involved in an argument at home. The husband left the house and the wife followed him, yelling at him as they walked. While officers were speaking with the female, it was apparent she had been drinking. The officer determined she was too intoxicated to care for her own safety and that her husband was not able to care for her either, so she was arrested for being drunk in public and held for sobering.

Outstanding Warrants – Suspects Arrested
July 1 at 8:05 p.m., officers were on patrol in the 100 block of West Huntington and recognized two subjects walking east on the sidewalk. They knew both subjects had outstanding warrants for their arrest. A computer check confirmed the warrants and both subjects were arrested; the subjects were held, pending their court appearance.

Tile Artist Next To Her Work At Monrovia Train Station

A photo Monrovia station artist Cha-Rie Tang next to one of the recently completed decorative tile column bases on the station platform.

- Brad Haugaard

Restaurant For Historic Monrovia Train Depot? Mystery Hole No Longer; Banners; Mt. Sierra Moving

From  City Manager Oliver Chi's weekly report ( )  ...

~ Above, renderings of the street light and pedestrian light banners planned for the Station Square project area.

~ The city hopes to find a restaurant to put in the historic Monrovia train depot.

~ For the Fourth of July weekend, Canyon Park and the  Hillside Wilderness Preserve will be closed July 3-5, and the Library will be closed between July 2-5.

~ By the end of the year, Mt. Sierra College is planning to move into a new space of approximately 25,000 square feet  at the south-west corner of Mountain Avenue and Royal Oaks Drive.

~ Upon investigation, the mystery hole outside Dr. Domotor's Animal House Veterinary Hospital (on the north side of Foothill) contains a large air conditioning unit in use by the business. The city has placed a steel plate over the hole and will keep the sidewalk detour until it comes up with a permanent fix.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment - Up and Down

Monrovia's AeroVironment has reported higher revenue but lower profit. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Police Lieutenant Zeke Cerecerez Dies

It is with heartfelt sadness that the Monrovia Police Department bids goodbye to one of its most beloved, longtime members. Retired Lieutenant Zeke Cerecerez passed away from natural causes on June 29, 2015.

Lieutenant Zeke Cerecerez served the community of Monrovia and the Monrovia Police Department for 29 years. He began his career in 1985 and only just recently retired from the department in September of 2014. Throughout his career, Zeke served in a variety of assignments including: Training Officer, Canine Officer, SWAT Officer, Special Enforcement Team Sergeant running a gang and narcotics unit, Community Policing Sergeant, and a Patrol Watch Commander as a Lieutenant.

Prior to his law enforcement career serving the citizens of Monrovia, Zeke had an illustrious military career serving his country as an active-duty Navy Seal and a U.S. Navy Reserve Explosive Ordinance Diver. He also served as a U.S. Army Reserve Special Forces Sergeant.

Lieutenant Cerecerez is survived by his wife, three sons and their families.  Lieutenant Zeke Cerecerez was one of Monrovia Police Department’s finest and he will be greatly missed.

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

How Route 66 Wandered Through Monrovia

You probably knew that old Route 66 passed through Monrovia, but you may not have known that at first it took a somewhat circuitous route. As the latest issue of the Monrovia Historical Preservation Group explains:

"As travelers from the east arrived in town along Huntington Drive, the route initially turned right on Shamrock Avenue to Foothill Boulevard, then turned left and continued to Santa Anita Avenue, again turning left to rejoin Huntington. That path was altered in 1933 to remain on Huntington as it passed through Monrovia."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Mayflower School Wins $20,000 | Holden Franchise Bill Advances

~ Monrovia's Mayflower Elementary School has won $20,000 for playground equipment from Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! The contest involved getting Monrovian's to vote online for the school, and Mayflower rounded up enough votes to come in number one.

~ A bill by Assembly member Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, to protect small business franchise owners has been approved in Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on a 6 to 1 vote. AB 525 makes it more difficult for chains to terminate franchise operators.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Meth Involved in Home Break-In; Burglaries; DUIs; Stealing a Bike to Shoplift; Air Support Tracks Bike Theft

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 25-28. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Petty Theft – Suspect Arrested
June 25 at 4:14 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 900 block of South California regarding a juvenile taking a delivered FedEx box from a porch. The officer arrived and located the suspect in a park across the street. The suspect was positively identified by a witness to the theft; he was arrested and taken into custody. The suspect was later cited out to a parent.

Theft From a Vehicle
June 26 at 8:42 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported at a residence in the 700 block of West Huntington. The victim had parked his truck in his driveway, but forgot to put the lock on the outer toolbox. Miscellaneous tools were stolen from the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
June 26 at 11:09 a.m., two vehicles were reported burglarized in the 900 block of South Primrose. The reporting party’s company had parked two trucks in front of the location at approximately 8:00 p.m. All of the tool boxes, windows and doors were secured. The next morning at 8:00 a.m., an employee came to work and saw both vehicles had been broken into, ransacked, and miscellaneous equipment had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
June 26 at 9:02 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported at a business parking lot in the 500 block of West Huntington Drive. The victim parked and went into a store. He returned to his vehicle approximately an hour later and saw his vehicle, a white Escalade, had been broken into and the third row seat was missing. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
June 27 at 12:24 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on the 210 Freeway, just past the Myrtle onramp. During the contact, the officer observed several signs that the driver had been drinking. After investigation, the driver was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested, taken into custody, and held for sobering.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
June 27 at 1:11 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop in the 400 block of West Huntington for a vehicle code violation. During the contact, the officer determined the driver had been drinking and was intoxicated. The driver was arrested for DUI and held for sobering.

Bicycle Theft/Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
June 27 at 3:16 p.m., an officer was flagged down by the victim of a bicycle theft that had just occurred in Duarte. The officer obtained a detailed description of the bike, then directed the subject to the Sheriff's substation to report the theft. The officer drove west on Huntington Drive and saw a male subject riding a bike that matched the exact description of the stolen bicycle. He followed the suspect to a business and saw the suspect drop the bike as he went into the store. When the male exited the store, he was detained. It was quickly discovered that the suspect had just shoplifted from the store. The suspect was positively identified by the victim as the suspect who stole the bicycle; he was arrested for both crimes and taken into custody.

Possession of Methamphetamine/Suspicious Circumstances – Suspect Arrested
June 27 at 8:31 p.m., a resident from the 600 block of West Maple called police to report a male adult subject had burst through a door at their residence yelling for help; he appeared bloody, disoriented and scared. The subject ran down a hallway and into a bedroom. The residents went into another bedroom, closed the door and called police. Officers responded, set up containment of the area and requested additional resources. Officers from Irwindale and Arcadia responded to assist in the search, along with a canine unit from Glendora and the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter.

Officers determined the location of the residents and rescued them. The suspect had gone out the window of the bedroom and broke into a second location, where he was found by officers, hiding in the garage. During a search of the suspect, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine; he was arrested and taken into custody. The suspect claimed to have been involved in a confrontation with another male subject armed with a gun. Police have not been able to substantiate the information reported by the suspect. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
June 28 at 1:50 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Sombrero regarding a possible burglary. A neighbor noticed an unsecured door and knew the residents were not home. When officers entered the residence, they found it had been ransacked. The suspects had stolen jewelry and cash from the home. The Investigation is continuing.

Stolen Vehicle
June 28 at 2:35 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of West Lemon. The victim had parked and locked her vehicle in the rear alley behind her residence at approximately 8:00 a.m. She returned to her vehicle at 2:35 p.m. and it was gone. The vehicle stolen is a 2013 Toyota RAV4. The Investigation is continuing.

Stolen Bicycle – Suspect Arrested
June 28 at 3:51 p.m., a bicycle theft in progress was reported at business in the 100 block of East Olive. The suspect threw the bicycle in a vehicle and fled. The Foothill Air Support Team helicopter responded to assist in the search, and the vehicle and stolen bicycle were located in the backyard of a residence in Baldwin Park. The suspect exited the rear of the residence and was arrested and taken into custody.

Monrovia Council Meeting With Supervisor Antonovich

Special Monrovia City Council meeting with Supervisor Michael Antonovich at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, at the Library Community Room. Topics: County's plan for new jails, Julian Fisher Park, request for supervisors support for Lucinda Garcia Park improvements, and Station Square Park Grand Opening.

- Brad Haugaard

Bleeding Man Allegedly Breaks Into Monrovia Home

Alleged bleeding intruder detained by police after reportedly breaking down a door to enter a Monrovia home full of people. I think this was on Maple Avenue, a block north of Huntington just off Highway Esplanade. (Thanks to Bard Hori for the tip.)

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Pieology

Dinner last night at the new Pieology, at the shopping area on the north side of Huntington at Fifth Ave. It's a build-your-own pizza place, but I got the pre-designed Hickory BBQ Chicken (with some jalapeƱos I couldn't resist adding)  for $7.95 and an iced tea for $1.75. Service was quick and friendly and the pizza was really excellent. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Store to Stop Selling Confederate Flag

Monrovia Army-Navy store will stop selling Confederate flags.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Danger Rising to 'Very High' in Monrovia Mountains

Starting tomorrow, June 26, the Forest Service is raising the fire danger in the mountains above Monrovia and throughout the region from "high" to "very high," because of fire activity and "drought starved vegetation."effective Friday, June 26.

- Brad Haugaard